Addiction Centers See More Alcohol Use Disorders as We Approach ‘Dry January’

CHICAGO, Dec. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — As more Americans embrace a sober or ‘Dry’ January, Gateway Foundation ( addiction treatment specialists are seeing an increase in patients coming in for alcohol use disorder.

70% of those seeking treatment help for the first time are seeking help for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). "People who routinely drink alcohol to manage their emotions have ‘turned up the drinking dial’ because of pandemic chaos," says Marc Turner, President of the Community Services Division at Gateway Foundation. Turner adds, "Dry January 2022 may be the hardest ever on people because of stress and trauma stemming from this ongoing pandemic." In its 50+ year history, Gateway Foundation has treated over a million patients to sobriety and is consistently recognized as a leader in the addiction recovery space.

Dry January is becoming a more recognized, growing public health campaign, one that urges people to abstain from alcohol for the entire month. A Morning Consult poll of 2,200 U.S. adults in January 2021 found 13% of respondents were staying sober for "Dry January," compared to 11% in previous years. Nearly 50% of those respondents said they simply drank too much in the pandemic.

"Rightly so, the dangers of opioids are receiving the headlines lately, but people should know that alcohol remains the most abused substance," adds Turner. "And it’s everyone – men, women, young, old, the LGBTQ community to the religiously observant."

Alcohol continues to kill people every day. According to the CDC, excessive alcohol use is responsible for 95,000+ annual deaths in the U.S. — it’s highest yet, driven by the pandemic. For those occasional drinkers who participate in Dry January, Turner advises giving yourself some grace. "Don’t punish yourself for not sticking to your Dry January plan. If you take notice of what’s working and what isn’t — and why — then that is an excellent opportunity to seek help for what might not be working for you. If you commit to quitting and cannot, we can help you with that."

But, on the other hand, those who drink excessively need to be careful. "People addicted to alcohol must be careful when going ‘cold turkey,’" adds Turner. "If you suffer from alcohol use disorder, the sudden absence of alcohol can cause severe withdrawal and be harmful to your health."

To meet the need of more individuals in need of help, Gateway Foundation continues its breadth of treatment options including telehealth, in-patient and out-patient. Gateway Foundation meets people where they are by providing an individualized treatment plan that addresses varying issues that may have contributed to their substance use disorder.

And for anyone who has questions about addiction and treatment, Gateway Foundation recently launched Explore Recovery, a free, virtual, safe space Monday through Thursday at 5pm CT for anyone interested in getting educated.

"Gateway Foundation continues to provide safe, effective, personalized treatment," says President and CEO Thomas P. Britton, PH.D. "We continue to treat 10,000 people across the country daily."

About Gateway Foundation: Gateway Foundation is the country’s largest nonprofit treatment provider for adults specializing in substance use disorder treatment with co-occurring mental health disorders. For over 50 years, Gateway’s professional clinicians have helped over one million families recover from substance use disorders by developing personalized plans treating the underlying causes of their addiction.

Media Contact:
Alexandra Corro
(312) 316-1412

SOURCE Gateway Foundation